A key process for many parts of the manufacturing industry is forging. This is when metal is shaped using compressive forces. Undoubtedly a key component of the industry, it also has the potential to cause serious injuries at work.
How are accidents at work caused by forging?
Forging accidents and injuries typically involve the machine used in the process, known as the forging press, which slowly applies continuous pressure and force to the metal in order to shape it. There are two types of forging press:
- Mechanical: These presses use cranks to establish a pre-set – i.e. A pre-determined size of force to be produced at a certain point in the stroke – and repeat this as many times as required. They are capable of producing up to 50 strokes per minute and are considerably faster than their hydraulic counterparts.
- Hydraulic: These presses use a combination of fluid pressure and a piston to produce the force. Though slower and more expensive than mechanical presses, they are also more flexible and can do more varied tasks.
It’s easy to imagine the force required for some of the jobs with forging presses and therefore not hard to picture how serious workplace accidents can occur if they are not used properly or if staff are tasked with working with faulty machinery.
How can forging press accidents be avoided?
As is so often the case, safety when using forging presses is down to stringent regulations and thorough training. These requirements include, but are by no means limited to, the following:
- Thermostatic controls must be installed on any heating elements.
- Lead-based metals must have specific exhaust ports when being forged.
- Personal Protective Equipment for all employees using the forging press. This includes gloves, helmets, aprons and eye protection.
- Regular safety checks to be carried out on the working environment by relevant staff.
- Regular and thorough maintenance inspections on the forging presses carried out by qualified personnel.
- Clear labels detailing power and operational switches and manual/automatic controls on the press.
What can I do if I am injured at work?
If you suffer an accident from faulty machinery, or are injured at work in another capacity, then Accident Advice Helpline can save the day. Our dedicated legal team can take your work injury compensation claim from the initial consultation right the way through to the final payout, which is usually achieved out of court.
Date Published: February 26, 2014
Author: David Brown